German construction firm Bilfinger and the infrastructure finance arm of Munich Re have both withdrawn from work related to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through the Baltic Sea, due to looming US sanctions. Bilfinger had been contracted to deliver and operate process control systems and supply a gas-fired heat and power unit.
Exports of liquefied natural gas from the US will exceed gas exports by pipeline in the first and fourth quarter of 2021, as well as in 2022 on an annual basis. Monthly US LNG exports reached a record of 9.4 Bcf/d in November and of 9.8 Bcf/d in December 2020 and January 2021, according to shipping data, and are forecast to average 9.7 Bcf/d in February.
Volkswagen has sold more electric cars worldwide than Tesla for the first time ever, as electrification of transport accelerates in Europe, the US and China. The brands of the VW group, which include Porsche and Audi, sold 192,000 fully electric cars or plug-in hybrid vehicles in the fourth quarter, compared to Tesla's 181,000 e-vehicles sold.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has narrowly avoided a cascade of power failures thanks to a small surplus of gas supply near some peaking power plants. Natural gas fuels more than 40,000 MW generating capacity in Texas during peak periods, but the latest cold freeze disrupted production and made pipeline compressors trip.
The German gas industry calls for the construction of Nord Stream 2 to be finalised this year to enhance competition amongst gas importers and ensure energy prices remain low. „If we didn't have it, we would be talking about several billion Euros of additional [cost] burdens,” said Timm Kehler, head of the lobby group Zukunft Gas.
The European Union‘s 2030 emissions target of a 55% reduction over 1990 levels has made it the undisputed global leader in climate ambition. But the bloc is falling short of its goal, Wood Mackenzie warns, unless the rollout of electric vehicles and renewable build-out gets accelerated along with coal power plants retirements.
Dallas-based Energy Transfer has agreed to acquire Enable Midstream Partners in an all-equity transaction valued at around $7.2 billion. The merger is expected to lead to $100 million operational cost savings and gives Energy Transfer access to gas gathering and processing assets in the Anadarko and Haynesville Shale, and pipelines to transport the gas to the US Gulf Coast.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has decided to raise energy prices after a winter storm left more than 4 million people without electricity in Texas. The grid operator was not able to cope with the sudden demand spike, while fuel shortages forced some utilities to implement rolling blackouts.